DriveGleam: display your CPU, RAM and drive usage as icons in the system tray

7
1313

DriveGleam is a free app that installs a handful of activity indicators as icons in your system tray, including a CPU usage, a RAM usage, virtual RAM usage, as well as an icon that displays hard drive activity for each of your partitions.

You can pick and choose which of these indicators (or all of them) you want to display in your system tray depending on what you’re interested in..

For each indicator displayed, additional information can be attained via tooltip by hovering over any of the system tray icon (see the right image above).

CPU, memory, and drive usage are amongst the most useful indicators that you might want to display on-screen, and of all the infinite variety of ways this can be done (e.g. as desktop widgets, embedding in the active desktop, etc), system tray icons are probably the most practical and least likely to clutter your desktop. 

DriveGleam Screenshot mainDriveGleam Screenshot tooltips

Here are some PROS and CONS a wish list:

PROS:

  • Practical: the icons in the system tray make the information available without cluttering your desktop and your work area
  • Pick and choose: if you just want the CPU and memory icons, for example, you can uncheck the others in the settings.
  • Tooltips: when you mouse-over the icons, are great, and provide very good information (see screenshots on the right side above).
  • Hard drive activity indicators: useful if your laptop or keyboard does not have a physical indicator built in or if you have many drives attached, the hard drive icons trun red when the drive is active (see image to the left).
  • Lightweight: just over 3 megs in memory.
  • Portable version: available.

Wish list (or how this program can be even better)

  • I wish it were possible to display memory as an absolute figure rather than a percentage. Yes, the space is too small, but it is possible to do it as evidenced by a similar app: SysTrayMeter.
  • The icons could have been prettier: but perhaps I am being too picky.

The verdict: overall, this program is excellent, does what it purports to do, and consumes very little resources. I am a big fan in general of activity indicators in the system tray and will admit that DriveGleam caught my attention largely because it seemed like a more advanced version of a program that I use and love: SysTrayMeter. DriveGleam’s use of tooltips to display more information is an excellent refinement on the concept, but as mentioned in the wish list above I really would have liked the option to display free memory as an absolute rather than percentages.

Version Tested: 1.07

Compatibility: Windows 2000, 2003, XP, Vista, Windows 7.

Go to the program home page to download the latest version; user guide here (approx 315K).